PhotoScan Workstation FAQ
Q: What is the difference between the three recommended systems?
A: Our recommended workstations differ in the number of video cards (GPUs) they support and the number of CPU cores available. The main reason for having three options is to support a range of prices: from around $4,000 for the dual GPU system up to well over $10,000 for the quad GPU option. More GPUs and more cores translates to increased performance, but we know that not everyone has room in their budget, or desk, for a massive tower.
Q: Is the CPU or GPU (video card) more important for PhotoScan?
A: PhotoScan needs a balance of both the CPU and video cards, and the usage of each varies across the different steps involved in using the application. Of the main steps, only one uses the video cards - but that step usually accounts for 50-90% of the total processing time, so the GPUs are extremely important to performance. The other steps are all CPU dependant, and while additional cores help in many ways we found that dropping the clock speed too much will hamper performance. You can read more both CPU and GPU scaling in the articles linked to on the right.
Q: How many video cards does PhotoScan support?
A: Agisoft has done a good job with supporting multiple GPUs. We've only tested up to four video cards at a time, since that is the most that a normal tower chassis can accomodate, and we have found that adding a second GPU decreases the time taken by the "Build Dense Cloud" task by about ~35%. Adding a third GPU decreases the build time by another ~25%, and adding a fourth GPU further decreases the build time by ~15% on top of that.
Q: How much RAM do I need?
A: Memory requirements in PhotoScan depend directly on how many photos you are working with, the size of the images themselves, and the quality settings you want to use. Agisoft has published a handy document showing the RAM needs with different combinations of photos, using 12MP (megapixels) as a base image size. This can be used to estimate the amount of RAM you will need by factoring in your image count, photos size, and quality goals.
Q: Should I get a solid state drive (SSD) or hard drive (HDD)?
A: We strongly recommend using solid-state drives on all computers these days. They have a huge impact on every aspect of computer usage, from faster boot times to more responsive operation. However, we have found that PhotoScan itself does not benefit much from having your images stored on a faster drive - so while a SSD is critical for the operating system and application drive, you can use a hard drive for your photos if you want.
Why Choose Puget Systems?
We do not add a part to our product line unless we feel we can stand behind it. You can feel confident that any selection you make on our website is a quality product.
By keeping inventory of our most popular parts, and maintaining a short supply line to parts we need, we are able to offer an industry leading ship time of 7-10 business days on nearly all our system orders.
We make sure our representatives are as accessible as possible, by phone and email. At Puget Systems, you can actually talk to a real person!
Click here for even more reasons!